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Dreamworks buys rights to Ghost In The Shell - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2008-04-16 13:18
  Subject:   Dreamworks buys rights to Ghost In The Shell
  Music:Global Threat - Elitist Attitudes
  Tags:  reddit

DreamWorks has acquired rights to the Japanese manga "Ghost in the Shell" with plans to adapt the futuristic police thriller as a 3-D live-action feature. Avi Arad, Ari Arad and Steven Paul of Seaside Entertainment are attached to produce and brought the project to the studio. Jamie Moss has been tapped to pen the adaptation. Avi Arad is at the forefront of comicbook-based material, having produced the three "Spider-Man" films, the three "X-Men" movies, the two "Fantastic Four" pics and the upcoming "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk."


We've talked with the people at Dreamworks, and here's a quick list of the improvements that they hope to bring to the latest installation in the Ghost in the Shell franchise:

10. Cute kid to follow everyone around and ask a lot of questions
9. Helpless female with nasal voice that screams a lot and has to be rescued over and over
8. Less edgy animation so that American audience doesn't find it quite so jarring
7. Speaking of jarring, do you think we could borrow Jar-jar from Lucas?
6. Deep philosophical conundrums replaced with pop psychology and Jedi aphorisms.
5. More clothing to avoid the R rating
4. More senseless violence to fill in the parts we had to take out.
3. A properly evil villain so people know who to hate.
2. Good old-fashioned technobabble.
1. A talking Donkey


I don't believe this remake could possibly do the original GItS movie1 justice. There's way too much violence, nudity, philosophy, and long-winded political intrigue in it for the average member of the American public. Then throw in a sentient AI that's neither a faceless, evil supercomputer nor a lobotomized, passive servant and you can forget about it. Any remake that captured 1/10th the depth of the original would be a massive box-office flop in America.

There was nothing wrong with the original GItS movie, and there's no good reason to remake it. At least with SpiderMan and X-Men there weren't previous movies to ruin. The only thing this adaptation can accomplish is to dumb it all down and thus lose everything that made GItS great. They won't get Ron Perlman for Batou. They won't have the SFX budget to do the thermoptic camo, cybernetics or martial arts right. Hell, they won't even be able to match the original's opening credits. If we're very, very lucky this movie will suffer the same fate as the Battle Angel movie and die a nice quiet death, far away from any actual movies sets or motion picture cameras.

Hey Hollywood, why don't you stick to giving the American public more of the 4th grade mentality anime they actually want. Like Pokemon. Or Naruto. (Oh wait - you ARE!)

Now get off my lawn!

1 I agree with his comment about Kusanagi's character design. I like it a lot better in GItS:SAC.
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2008-04-17 02:21 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Um, hate to disappoint, but Battle Angel is still a "GO!"

James Cameron is looking to revolutionize Hollywood. See last month's issue of HDVideoPro or Variety's article on his development of the new 3D camera for Avatar, his "first draft" experiment to see if Battle Angel is feasible.


It *may* be possible, but that depends on whose doin' it.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-04-17 02:34 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
It's a long way from making a new kind of camera to producing, scripting, casting, filming and editing a whole movie.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. ;]
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  User: mckavian
  Date: 2008-04-17 03:36 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
You are right - the original GitS is as close to perfection as they could get it. ANY reproduction - not just US/Hollywood - would screw it up.
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  User: ohmisunao
  Date: 2008-04-17 04:49 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I "like" how they got a comic-book screenwriter for the script. And how GitS is obviously not written like any western comic book I've ever seen. Do they really think they can do a better job than grand-master Oshii? They're way out of their league. I predict it'll end up like Final Fantasy: Spirits Within. The Fans will rebel and the general public won't give a rat's ass. Get off my lawn indeed. :)

BTW- My favorite animated Kusanagi is the one in the PS1 game.
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  User: tiger0range
  Date: 2008-04-17 13:35 (UTC)
  Subject:   Honestly...
... Not even Neil Gaiman could do the script justice.
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  User: iiradned
  Date: 2008-04-17 17:14 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
My best hope for this is that it suffers for years in development hell after which the rights revert back and Shirow will have received a boatload of money.
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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-04-17 17:32 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
Holy crap! You posted a comment! ;D
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2008-04-18 04:14 (UTC)
  Subject:   (no subject)
I have to say that GitS the movie was better than Shirow's original comic, as much as I loved it. So, I cannot say that this would be good thing. Making GitS into a live action movie would require a phenomenal SciFi director, of which I can really only name two: J.Cameron and R.Scott. They have the power to make their own movies and tend to keep the story based on fantastic characters of the original story. That's why GitS the movie was so good compared to the comic. IMO.

I say give it chance, it *may* be good.
If it's not, we don't have to watch. ;-P

I really hope Avatar turns out well so Battle Angel can be spectacular.
- l
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2008-04-18 22:31 (UTC)
  Subject:   I Object...
I believe it was Michael Crichton who said "They didn't ruin my book, I have it right here, $9.95". I don't know if it was him, or even what movie he was talking about *if* it was hime, but the idea that the previous movie/book/comic is somehow made worse by someone else attempting to "re-make" it is ludicrous.

If you don't think it will be good, don't watch it, or better yet, rent it and make fun of it MST3K style. Preemptively mocking something that *might* (and in this case I really mean to emphasize "might") be good (or at least passable) is just being a negative nelly (pardon my language). Make fun of it after you *know* it sucks. Like X-Men 3 (which wasn't sooo bad, but disappointed because it could have been waaay better).

Honestly, if someone delivers something with half of the "make-me-thinkmanship" as the first Matrix movie I am super enthused, and having an IP like this makes that sort of thing easy (easier) on American (big budget) film makers.

On the other hand, as long as it's not on par with the live action Aeon Flux, any reason to watch hot women engage in high quality and vast amounts of violence is fine by me. As much as I hate to admit it, I don't want to run my brain all the time. It might overheat, and sleeping is boring.

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Ben Cantrick
  User: mackys
  Date: 2008-04-21 19:11 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: I Object...
Preemptively mocking something that *might* be good (or at least passable) is just being a negative nelly

I prefer "cranky old elitist".

Now, which part of "Get off my lawn!!" did you not understand? ;]
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  User: (Anonymous)
  Date: 2008-04-22 02:49 (UTC)
  Subject:   Re: I Object...
I tend to agree with you that passing judgment on something prematurely is, in general, not a good idea, but I think the lowered expectation in this case could be justified b/c of the years and years of 'evidence' amassed by horrendous remakes and adaptations Hollywood has pumped out.

It's not to say that, every once in a while, there isn't a delightful surprise or a gem that has its source in a book, a past movie, tv show, etc, but compare this to the sheer quantity of suck and you have a ratio that looks something like 1000:1 when it comes to bad vs good, remade/adapted movies (yes, the specific number is pulled out of me butt). For every Matrix, to use your example, we have a I Spy, Starsky and Hutch, The Brady Bunch movie, Johnny Mnemonic, Miami Vice, Get Carter, Godzilla, Rollerball, Ultraviolet, Aeon Flux and the list goes on.

Compound this with the fact that the bar is set higher for something like GiTS because many feel that the original film was impeccably done and it becomes even harder to imagine a successful remake. Is it impossible? No. The Magnificent Seven is a classic and a worthy remake of Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai. Is it unlikely considering the sheer quantity of mediocre to poor adaptations Hollywood has produced in its decades and decades worth of films? I'd have to say, resoundingly, yes.

Here's to hoping that the film is well done even if it may still fall short of the original anime (though some here may argue that if it is going to fall short, it shouldn't be made at all), but the decades worth of films indicating the improbability of that happening, I think, is different from being a simple negative nelly. To me, there's a difference between being a negative nelly/pessmist and looking at a body of work that undermines my faith in the likelihood of a movie turning out to be decent.

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